The State Department has approved the potential sale of Boeing [BA]-made KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelers to Israel for $2.4 billion, per a March 3 notice.
The foreign military sale would include eight KC-46 tankers and related equipment, including up to 17 Pratt & Whitney [UTX] PW4062 turbofan engines – 16 installed and one spare – and up to 18 Raytheon [RTN]-built MAGR 2K-GPS SAASM receivers, to include two spares. Also included are AN/ARC-210 U/VHF radios built by Rockwell Collins [UTX], APX-119 Identification Friend or Foe responders built by Raytheon and associated spares, repair parts and other equipment.
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in the release.
“The proposed sale further supports the foreign policy and national security of the United States by allowing Israel to provide a redundant capability to U.S. assets within the region, potentially freeing U.S. assets for use elsewhere during times of war,” the agency added. “Aerial refueling and strategic airlift are consistently cited as significant shortfalls for our allies.”
The U.S. Air Force KC-46 program of record includes 179 tankers, while Japan has also committed to procuring at least two of the tankers for its fleet. Boeing was awarded an FMS contract for one Japanese KC-46A aircraft in 2017, and exercised an option for a second aircraft in December 2018, per the company.